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International inequality in well-being


  • Mark McGillivray

    (World Institute for Development Economics Research, Helsinki, Finland)

  • J. Ram Pillarisetti

    (Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Australia)


This paper examines inter-country inequality in indicators of human well-being. It is primarily concerned with inequality in two gender-related, composite indicators of development levels proposed: the Gender-related Development Index (GDI) and the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM). A number of inequality indices are calculated using data for the period 1992 to 1998. A special interest of the paper is whether the GDI and GEM tell different stories with respect to inequality than the Human Development Index (HDI) and PPP GDP per capita. Results indicate that the answer to this question with respect to PPP GDP per capita is a qualified yes, being dependent on how this variable is measured. Other results indicate that the GEM and GDI exhibit slightly higher inequality than the HDI. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark McGillivray & J. Ram Pillarisetti, 2004. "International inequality in well-being," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(4), pages 563-574.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:16:y:2004:i:4:p:563-574 DOI: 10.1002/jid.1078

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. J. Ram Pillarisetti, 1997. "An empirical note on inequality in the world development indicators," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 145-147.
    2. Ram, Rati, 1982. "International inequality in the basic needs indicators," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 113-117, February.
    3. Wolfson, Michael C, 1994. "When Inequalities Diverge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 353-358, May.
    4. Ranis, Gustav & Stewart, Frances & Ramirez, Alejandro, 2000. "Economic Growth and Human Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 197-219, February.
    5. Sudhir Anand & Amartya Sen, 2000. "The Income Component of the Human Development Index," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 83-106.
    6. Mark McGillivray & Howard White, 1993. "Measuring development? The UNDP's human development index," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(2), pages 183-192, March.
    7. Bardhan, Kalpana & Klasen, Stephan, 1999. "UNDP's Gender-Related Indices: A Critical Review," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 985-1010, June.
    8. Ram Rati, 1992. "International inequalities in human development and real income," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 351-354, March.
    9. Ram, Rati, 1980. "Physical quality of life index and inter-country inequality," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 195-199.
    10. Farhad Noorbakhsh, 1998. "The human development index: some technical issues and alternative indices," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(5), pages 589-605.
    11. Srinivasan, T. N., 1994. "Data base for development analysis Data base for development analysis: An overview," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 3-27, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Decancq, Koen & Decoster, André & Schokkaert, Erik, 2009. "The Evolution of World Inequality in Well-being," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 11-25, January.
    2. Vanesa Jordá & José Sarabia, 2015. "International Convergence in Well-Being Indicators," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 120(1), pages 1-27, January.
    3. Jordá , Vanesa & Trueba, Carmen & Sarabia, Jose Maria, 2014. "Análisis multidimensional de la desigualdad en el marco del desarrollo humano/Multidimensional Analysis of Inequality under the Human Development Framework," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 32, pages 765-788, Mayo.
    4. Dominik Paprotny, 2016. "Measuring Central and Eastern Europe’s Socio-Economic Development Using Time Lags," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 939-957, July.
    5. Binelli, Chiara & Loveless, Matthew & Whitefield, Stephen, 2015. "What Is Social Inequality and Why Does it Matter? Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 239-248.

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